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A double sugar molecule found naturally in milk solids. Lactose powder has a sweet taste and is used in infant foods and ice cream. It is also used as a sorbent in liquid chromatography.

Synonyms and Related Terms

4-o-beta-D-galactopyranosyl-D-glucose; milk sugar; saccharum lactis; lactin


  • No known hazards.
  • Fisher Scientific: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water. Slightly soluble in ethanol. Insoluble in ether and chloroform.

Composition C12H32O11-H2O
CAS 63-42-3
Melting Point 201-202 C
Density 1.525 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 342.30
Boiling Point (dec)

Resources and Citations

  • Thomas Gregory, The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Reinhold Publishing, New York, 3rd ed., 1942
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 5356

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